The Corona Virus Pandemic, which is currently affecting our country, has far-reaching implications for all spheres of life.  The employment context comes with its own unique set of challenges.  Since the announcement of a National Lockdown was made on the 23 March 2020 numerous employment issues have arisen.  CEO remains committed to providing its members with credible guidelines to assist employers during this challenging period.


We have discussed what happens in the event of illness arising from the Corona Virus.  Regrettably, we will have to discuss what will happen in the event that an employee passes on due to the Corona Virus.


Q) What happens if an employee becomes deceased while in the employ of my company due to the Corona Virus?

A) The Department of Employment and Labour (DOL) makes provision for a death benefit arising from the Corona Virus.


Q) Is the death benefit afforded by the DOL the same as one that I currently have for my employee under a private insurance scheme?

A) No, It is quite different from an insurance policy as the death benefit afforded by the DOL is not as comprehensive as a private policy. Employers are urged to continue making contributions to private policies during this period (if applicable).


Q) In order to claim this benefit, does the employee have to be registered with the DOL?

A) Yes, all employees who are employed for more than 24 hours in a month will have to be registered with the DOL. There are severe implications which could include criminal liability for not being in good standing with the DOL. Employers are urged to rectify registration with the DOL as soon as possible.


Q) Who will the death benefit be paid to?

A) The death benefit will only be paid to the survivors of the deceased. Ordinarily, employees stipulate who their next of kin are in their contract of employment. If there is no contract of employment and the employer does not know who the deceased survivors are, the employer will have to liaise with the family of the deceased to establish this.


Q) What documents need to be submitted to the DOL?

A) The following documents will need to be supplied:


Once these documents are in order, they must be submitted to the DOL.  The employer is advised to assist where possible to ensure that these documents are submitted.


Article by: Shakti Jainarain

Senior Dispute Resolution Official – Durban